Caprese salad is a summertime favorite. It’s a simple, fresh dish that is easy to make and bursting with flavor.
This classic Italian dish is often served as an appetizer, but it can also be a delicious and flavorful side dish. But what to serve with caprese salad?
Fear not—we have some ideas for you! Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve alongside caprese salad.
There are many options for creative and tasty side dishes that pair perfectly with the sweetness of the tomatoes, the tangy flavor of balsamic vinegar, and the creamy richness of mozzarella cheese.
Let’s take a look at some of the best dishes to serve alongside caprese salad.
What is caprese salad? What does caprese salad taste like?
Caprese salad is a simple Italian dish made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil.
It typically tastes light and refreshing, thanks to the combination of ingredients; the mild flavor of creamy mozzarella cheese combined with juicy tomatoes and fragrant basil gives it an earthy-yet-light taste.
Additionally, a bit of acidity from the balsamic dressing adds balance to the flavors.
29 Sides to serve with caprese salad
1. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to caprese salad. They add a smoky flavor and help round out an otherwise light meal.
Try grilling some zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, onions, or asparagus for an extra burst of flavor.
For an even more flavorful side dish, try marinating your vegetables in olive oil, garlic, and herbs before throwing them on the grill.
A loaf of freshly-baked bread adds a nice crunchy texture to your plate and gives you something to mop up all those delicious juices from the caprese salad.
Serving sourdough or focaccia is especially tasty with the traditional balsamic vinegar dressing that often accompanies caprese salads.
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3. Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are another great option when it comes to serving something along with your caprese salad.
They can be as simple or as complex as you like—from cold noodles tossed in vinaigrette dressing to hearty pasta dishes loaded with veggies and cheese.
Orzo is a great choice for pasta salads because it has a slightly nutty flavor and holds its shape when cooked.
You can also add in olives, tomatoes, cucumbers or any other vegetables you have on hand for an even heartier meal.
4. Grilled Peppers
Grilled peppers are a great way to add some color and texture to your meal. The smoky flavor pairs well with the fresh taste of caprese salad, and they are easy to prepare on most types of grills.
For added flavor, you can marinate them in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, and oregano before grilling.
5. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is an easy side dish option that packs lots of flavors. If you want to make it extra special, try brushing it with pesto or adding herbs like basil or parsley before baking it in the oven.
This will bring out an even more robust garlic flavor that pairs perfectly with caprese salad.
6. Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes are always a surefire crowd-pleaser. They’re simple to prepare but have just enough flavor to really stand out as a side dish when served alongside caprese salad.
To make them even more savory, try roasting them in olive oil seasoned with rosemary or thyme for an earthy aroma that complements the sweetness of your tomatoes nicely.
Explore More: Great Vegetarian Sides to Serve with Roasted Potatoes
7. Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Pesto Stacks
Thinly slice zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes, then brush with a basil pesto sauce and grill until softened and slightly charred.
Layer the vegetables on top of each other for an impressive-looking side dish that pairs perfectly with Caprese salad.
8. Roasted Garlic Focaccia
Enjoy Roasted Garlic Focaccia, a classic Italian flavor of focaccia bread, by adding roasted garlic to this irresistible side dish.
Serve alongside Caprese salad for a comforting yet elegant meal.
9. Baked Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce
Who doesn’t love gnocchi? Give your typical loaves a delicious upgrade by baking them in marinara sauce with cheese and herbs, resulting in an irresistibly flavorful side dish that tastes great alongside Caprese salad.
10. Grilled Tomato Bruschetta
Toast thick slices of baguette until golden brown and brush with olive oil or butter before topping with grilled tomatoes seasoned with garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper for a savory yet simple bruschetta that pairs beautifully with Caprese salad.
11. Crispy Baked Polenta Fries
Crispy Baked Polenta Fries are excellent to serve with caprese salad. Take polenta to the next level by slicing it into fries before baking them until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
This unique side dish is sure to be a hit when served along with a plate of Caprese salad!
Learn More: Quick Ideas to Eat With Fried Polenta
12. Creamy White Bean Dip
Create a creamy dip full of flavor by blending white beans, garlic, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil and spices in a food processor or blender.
Serve it up as an appetizer or side dish alongside some fresh Caprese salad for an unforgettable meal experience!
13. Garlic Roasted Broccoli Rabe
Garlic Roasted Broccoli Rabe is the perfect companion for caprese salad. Roast broccoli rabe lightly tossed in olive oil and minced garlic in the oven until crisp-tender before serving as a vibrant green side dish to your favorite Caprese salad recipe!
14. Artichoke Hearts Salad
Take advantage of artichoke hearts’ naturally sweet flavor by tossing them together with olives, capers, red onion, and parsley vinaigrette for an easy but delicious salad that will pair beautifully with your favorite plate of Caprese salad!
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15. Antipasto Skewers
Layer cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, artichokes, and hearts cubes of salami onto skewers for quick and easy antipasto bites—perfect as an appetizer or light lunch when accompanied by some classic Caprese salad!
16. Prosciutto Wrapped Melon Balls
Enjoy juicy melon balls wrapped in thinly sliced prosciutto, then drizzled in a balsamic reduction for the perfect summertime snack or appetizer that pairs wonderfully well with traditional Caprese salad recipes!
17. Fried Mozzarella Croquettes
Transform gooey mozzarella cheese into crispy croquettes filled with salty ham pieces, then fried until golden brown for an undeniably mouthwatering side dish to serve up along your favorite plate of Caprese salad! (Recipe)
18. Asparagus Salad with Parmesan & Lemon Vinaigrette
Add extra crunch to this asparagus side dish by topping it off with freshly grated parmesan cheese before drizzling it all over with lemon vinaigrette for added zestiness—perfectly balancing out any plate filled to the brim with classic Caprese Salad flavors!
19. Cannellini Bean Hummus
Blend cannellini beans into hummus along with garlic cloves, cumin, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper — creating a velvety smooth bean dip that tastes great when paired up alongside your favorite bowlfuls of creamy classic Caprese Salad!
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20. Grilled Veggie Flatbread
Grill thin slices of bell peppers, onions & mushrooms on flatbread spread out with lightly brushed olive oil — creating crunchy cheesy flatbread perfection that pairs amazingly well when served along delicate slices of traditionally prepared Italian-style Caprese Salad!
21. Dill Aioli Potatoes
Take potatoes & slice them thin before frying & finishing off their crispness via dill-scented mayonnaise-infused aioli — making this potato side dish utterly irresistible when paired up alongside traditional Italian style Platefuls of Caprese Salad!
22. Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup
Roast tomatoes, garlic cloves & red onions before blending together with vegetable broth, olive oil, herbs & spices — creating a flavorful soup perfect for enjoying alongside your favorite classic Caprese Salad recipe for dinner!
23. Quinoa Tabbouleh
Mix up cooked quinoa with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, mint leaves and lemon juice to create a light yet flavorful tabbouleh salad that pairs wonderfully well when served along a plate of traditional Italian-style caprese Salad!
24. Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
Stuff zucchini blossoms with creamy ricotta cheese & fresh mint leaves before lightly frying in batter — creating a savory snack or appetizer that goes perfectly along with classic Italian-style Caprese Salad! (Recipe)
25. Garlic & Herb Roasted Eggplant
Slice eggplants in half and brush with olive oil, garlic and herbs before roasting them to perfection — creating a delicious side dish perfect for pairing up alongside classic Italian-style Caprese Salad!
26. Focaccia with Caramelized Onions
Spread out focaccia dough into thin slices before topping it off with caramelized onions & mozzarella cheese.
Baking it until golden brown for a crunchy cheesy delight that tastes great when served alongside a plateful of classic Italian style Caprese Salad!
27. Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Crostini
Top thin slices of baguette with roasted beets, goat cheese crumbles & fresh thyme for a delicious flavor combination that tastes amazing when paired up with classic Italian-style Caprese Salad!
28. Prosciutto Wrapped Melon
Wrap melon slices in thin slices of prosciutto before lightly drizzling them with olive oil and finishing off with freshly ground black pepper.
Creating an addictive sweet & savory treat to enjoy alongside your favorite classic Caprese salad!
29. Caprese Skewers
Caprese Skewers eat well with caprese salad. Layer cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella balls & olives onto skewers.
Sprinkling on sea salt for extra flavor before grilling or baking—perfect for serving as an appetizer or side dish along with traditional Italian-style Caprese Salad!
caprese salad made of
Traditional caprese salad is a classic Italian dish consisting of sliced fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
The salad is usually dressed with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sometimes balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. A popular variation adds sliced avocado.
The colors of the Italian flag—red, white and green—are represented in the dish, making it as visually appealing as it is delicious.
Caprese salad serves as an appetizer or side dish for many meals but can also be enjoyed as a light lunch when paired with crusty bread.
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What are the best flavors to go with caprese salad?
Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish that combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fragrant basil.
Depending on your taste preferences and the other flavors in your meal, you can choose from a variety of flavor combinations for a delicious caprese salad.
Here are some of the best flavors to go with caprese salad:
1. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar provide an earthy base for the sweet-tart combination of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
The addition of garlic or freshly ground pepper adds even more depth to this classic pairing.
2. Basil pesto
Pesto adds creaminess to the salad while still highlighting the tomato-and-cheese combo. Use a store-bought pesto or make your own with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
3. Fresh herbs
Herbs such as oregano and thyme add an aromatic complexity to the salad that pairs perfectly with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs to the top of each salad plate.
4. Lemon juice
Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the salad right before serving for a zingy tang that complements all of the other flavors in your dish.
You can also try adding grated lemon zest for an extra layer of brightness.
A drizzle of honey adds a touch of sweetness that helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar. Try adding a teaspoon of honey per salad plate for the perfect finishing touch.
Depending on your choice of combination, caprese salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With its vibrant colors and fresh ingredients, this classic Italian dish will make an impressive addition to any meal.
How do you jazz up caprese salad?
Adding a few extra ingredients to caprese salad can add even more flavor and texture. Try adding some crumbled feta cheese for a salty, creamy component or crispy bacon pieces for a smoky crunch.
For a bit of sweetness, try diced fresh mango or roasted pine nuts. To make the salad more substantial and heartier, you can add chopped grilled chicken or small cubes of mozzarella cheese.
To give the dish an Italian flair, sprinkle on some freshly chopped basil leaves or slivered sun-dried tomatoes. A splash of balsamic vinaigrette is also a great way to bring out all the flavors in the salad.
How do you display caprese salad on a platter?
Caprese salad can be a beautiful and tasty addition to any dinner platter. To start, arrange the tomatoes in a circular pattern around the edge of the platter with fresh basil leaves on top.
Next, alternate slices of mozzarella cheese and more tomato slices in the center of the plate.
Drizzle your favorite balsamic vinaigrette over the top and finish off with another layer of fresh basil leaves for garnish. Serve immediately and enjoy!
The colors of this dish will be sure to make it stand out amongst other dishes on your dinner table. And with its simple ingredients and presentation, caprese salad is an easy yet impressive way to add flavor to any meal! Enjoy!
10 dinner ideas with caprese salad
1. Grilled Caprese Salad
Start by grilling thick slices of your favorite Italian bread and top with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic glaze, pesto, and freshly chopped basil.
2. Caprese Salad Skewers
Alternate mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and basil leave on wooden skewers for a simple yet delicious appetizer or light main course.
3. Caprese Salad Wrap
Spread some pesto onto a wrap or tortilla and layer in the caprese ingredients along with spinach leaves to make a tasty lunch or snack.
4. Caprese Salad Pizza
Top your favorite pizza crust with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, garlic oil, and chopped basil for an amazing pizza experience.
5. Layered Caprese Appetizers
Layer diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese cubes, and basil pesto in individual shot glasses for an effortless yet mouthwatering appetizer option.
6. Baked Eggplant Parmigiana Caprese Style
Top eggplant slices with layers of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese slices, parmesan cheese shreds and chopped basil for a flavor-packed vegetarian main dish option.
7. Bruschetta Caprese Crostini Platter
Toast thickly sliced Italian bread until crisp, then top each piece with diced tomatoes sprinkled with salt & pepper and grated parmesan cheese before topping each crostini with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Drizzle olive oil over the top of each bruschetta and finish off by sprinkling your favorite herbs, such as chives or oregano, over the top.
8. Tomato Bacon Caprese Risotto
Cook up some creamy risotto, then mix in diced bacon before adding diced cherry tomatoes into the mix as well as some freshly chopped basil leaves before stirring everything together to make a fantastic dinner option.
9. Spaghetti Squash Caprese Bake
Halve spaghetti squash, then bake it skin side down until cooked through before removing the flesh from the shells.
Then top each half squash bowl with diced tomato and fresh mozzarella pieces before baking again until golden brown on top, then garnish with shredded basil leaves just prior to serving up this wonderful vegetarian meal option!
10. Italian Tomato & Mozzarella Tartlets
Line mini tart cases or muffin tins with ready-made puff pastry, then fill each tartlet case halfway full of diced tomato mixed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar seasonings before topping each one off carefully with thin slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella followed by sprinkling over dried oregano spices before baking until golden brown perfection is achieved!
Wrap Up on What to serve with Caprese Salad
These complementary side dishes will take your caprese salad from good to great!
Add some grilled veggies for smokiness, bake up some fresh bread for crunch, or toss together a pasta salad for added protein and carbs—all of these options will provide balance and depth of flavor to your plate.
So next time you’re looking for something to serve alongside caprese salad, give one of these options a try!
Whether you’re serving a simple family dinner or hosting friends for an outdoor gathering this summer, these delicious sides will be sure to impress!
How much caprese salad per person?
When making caprese salad, the general rule of thumb is to plan for about 1/2 cup of salad per person.
This amount is enough for a light side dish or appetizer. If you are serving it as a main course or part of a larger meal, then plan on about 1 cup per person.
Keep in mind that the amounts can be adjusted according to how many other dishes are being served and how hungry your guests are!
What meal goes with Caprese salad?
Caprese salad is an incredibly versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. To complement the classic Italian flavors, opt for grilled chicken or fish such as salmon or cod.
Other good options include pasta dishes like spaghetti Bolognese, eggplant Parmesan, and lasagna. For a heartier meal, serve it alongside roasted beef tenderloin or pork tenderloin.
If you’re looking for something lighter to pair with your Caprese salad, try sandwiches like paninis or focaccia, hearty soups and stews like minestrone and French onion soup, or simple grain bowls made with farro or quinoa.
What is good to serve with caprese?
Caprese is a classic Italian salad made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. It’s a simple yet delicious dish that pairs well with many sides.
Some popular accompaniments for caprese include crusty bread, pasta or couscous, roasted vegetables, grilled meat or fish, and light soups such as minestrone.
If you’d like to add an extra layer of flavor to the dish, drizzle it with olive oil or balsamic vinegar before serving. Enjoy!
What side to serve with caprese chicken?
Caprese chicken pairs nicely with a variety of sides, such as roasted potatoes and vegetables, quinoa or couscous, a light salad or sautéed greens.
To switch things up, you could also serve it with some crusty bread or garlic toast to soak up the delicious juices from the tomatoes.
For a heartier meal, add a side of creamy risotto or polenta.
What protein to serve with caprese salad?
Caprese salad is a popular Italian dish. The main ingredients are tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. To make this dish even more filling and nutritious, adding protein is an excellent idea!
Some great options to serve with caprese salad include grilled chicken or fish, smoked salmon, canned tuna, boiled eggs, beans (such as cannellini or black beans), and tempeh or tofu for a vegetarian/vegan option.
All of these protein sources pair well with the flavors of caprese salad and will give it that extra nutrient boost you’re looking for. Enjoy!